|A road financed by government bonds under construction in Bến Tre Province. Nine-month public disbursement achieved just 46.7 per cent of the target set by the PM. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Public investment is essential but has been a governmental weak spot since early this year, according to Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính.
Chính made the remarks at a virtual conference on public disbursement on Monday. Relevant ministries and local authorities from 63 provinces and cities attended the conference online.
The PM underscored public investment as an engine of growth, which would contribute greatly to the accomplishment of economic and social goals, create jobs and improve people's livelihoods, and make new room for sustainable development.
However, the slow delivery of public money has been an issue for many years and did not improve much in 2022. Public disbursement still moves slowly in many localities, to the detriment of the goals.
The PM urged the authorities to identify the causes of the sluggish allocation of public money and the slow implementation of the Three-National-Target Programme, and come up with solutions to these issues.
He also called on the authorities to carry out a review of various aspects of the disbursement process, including management, to detect individuals who failed to disburse public money at a good pace and hold them responsible for the slow-paced delivery.
Those authorities who did well with public money were requested to share their experience with others to help them move faster fiscally. Inspection should be stepped up to ensure transparency, thereby preventing corruption.
"Under no circumstances is public money not spent. Failure to spend the money is an act that goes against the people," he said.
Against a backdrop of global uncertainties, the PM called for a well-calibrated combination of monetary policy, fiscal policy and other policies to regulate the economy.
He said the Government has set out the rule of "four to stabilise, three to enhance, two to accelerate, one to reduce and one to say no to" in this regard. The "two to accelerate" involves favourable policies that accelerate business activities and public disbursement.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Trần Quốc Phương admitted that the delivery of public money in the first nine months achieved just 46.7 per cent of the target set by the PM.
He said the figures are indicative of a regular pattern in public disbursement: construction works are carried out early in the year and payments are made later.
The deputy minister suggested a to-do list to speed up public spending for the rest of 2022.
First, relevant ministries and local authorities must comply strictly with governmental instructions and keep their mind on key projects to ensure the projects move without hindrances.
Relevant ministries and local authorities must refine legal documents on public investment and bring them to bear stringently to end violators. Supervision and inspection must be stepped up to add to the effect.
Ministries and local authorities must precipitate administrative reforms and facilitate the use of information technology in public investment procedures, especially in approval processing.
They must draw up their plan on public investment for the period from 2021 to 2025 and list newly-launched projects in 2023 in order of priority to ensure smooth public disbursement.
Four organisations in charge of the two National Target Programmes on new-style rural area building and socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas must quickly report to the PM on their progress.
Relevant ministries and local authorities must cooperate closely and give feedback on public money management. Their feedback would help improve the process and ensure no projects are behind schedule.
Lastly, relevant ministries and local authorities must work to prepare the way for in-waiting projects to be carried out in right early 2023. Public money must be spent during the period without delays.
According to the Ministry of Finance, total public disbursement topped VNĐ253 trillion by late September, up 16 per cent year-on-year. Of which, central government's disbursement hit roughly VNĐ90 trillion, about 37.8 per cent of the target set by the PM.
Only two central agencies and ten local authorities went ahead of the curve in this regard with over 70 per cent of the target.
Meanwhile, 39 of 51 central agencies and 22 of 63 local authorities fell short of the average rate, at 46.7 per cent. Remarkably, there are 14 central agencies and one local authority that performed poorly with less than 20 per cent. — VNS